NVRH receives grant to help meet growing respiratory needs

New treatment options now available

Vermont Business Magazine Thanks to a grant from the Melissa Andrews Trust in Barre, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) has purchased a Volara airway clearance system to better meet its patient respiratory care needs.

Patients with respiratory or neuromuscular conditions such as COVID, COPD, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy often require medical help to clear their airway by expanding the lungs and loosening mucus so they can breathe more freely. If patients are unable to clear their airway, reduced oxygen flow could result in lung infections and further damage, leading to respiratory failure.

The Volara System enhances respiratory treatment by working from inside the lungs versus external treatment options.

“The Volara system will allow us to significantly improve the care we provide to respiratory patients through more effective treatment that is less invasive and better tolerated by patients,” NVRH Lead Respiratory Therapist Alexis Starr said. “The Volara system will be used regularly in the ICU and Medical Surgical units, and the Emergency Department. It will also allow our respiratory therapists more time to focus on monitoring and providing care to patients.”

This is the second gift NVRH has received from the Trust. The first was in 2019 to help ensure the hospital could secure sufficient respiratory equipment and supplies during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Melissa Andrews Trust is proud of the role it plays in improving the lives of Vermonters, especially those in rural areas such as the Northeast Kingdom,” said Co-Trustee Jon D. Valsangiacomo. “It’s important that individuals with respiratory ailments have access to care that utilizes the most effective treatments available.”

Melissa Andrews established the Trust in 1922 for the care and treatment of those who suffer from tuberculosis in memory of her son who died from the disease. Current Co-Trustees John Lyon, Owner of Wilkins Harley-Davidson, and Jon Valsangiacomo of the law firm Valsangiacomo Detora & McQuesten, oversee the Trust’s expanded focus of meeting a variety of respiratory healthcare needs throughout Vermont. NVRH has also kept pace with the growing needs for respiratory services in the Northeast Kingdom: In the summer of 2021, the hospital opened a new Pulmonology Clinic and hired a full-time pulmonologist.

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital is located in St. Johnsbury in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. We are a community, not-for-profit, acute care, critical access hospital. NVRH is one of two Vermont hospitals designated as Baby FriendlyTM by the United Nations. The organization provides primary and preventive care, surgical and specialty services, inpatient and outpatient care and 24-hour, physician-staffed emergency services. Aligned with community partners, NVRH values and invests in efforts to address social conditions to create communities that are well-nourished, well-housed, physically healthy, mentally healthy, and financially secure. NVRH serves the health needs for over 30,000 people in Caledonia and Southern Essex Counties in Vermont and employs nearly 700 dedicated staff.

ST. JOHNSBURY, VT (April 7, 2022) – NVRH